Hello friends, here we are once more. In 2017, I had a terrible reading year. In 2018, I massively improved upon that. And in 2019, I absolutely smashed my reading goals by surpassing my Goodreads Reading Challenge of 40 books. In 2019, I read a total of 44 books.
I started out the year by reading an ARC of Parkland Speaks, which was edited by Sarah Lerner. It was a highly emotional book and took me quite a few days to get through because I continuously had to put it down and collect myself. There’s a review of it here on my website. Also, something cool that happened: Sarah found it a few months after I had posted it and tweeted it out!
I also read a handful of picture and “children’s” books in 2019. I had a moment at the beginning of the year, when I briefly worked at Barnes & Noble, where I wondered if I should include the picture books my bosses told me to read towards my Goodreads goal. I decided to do so because hey, a book is a book. Sure I was reading it because I needed to sell it, but the point is that I read it.
In April I reread Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg (one of my all time favorite illustrators/authors) when I spent about a week and a half rereading books I loved as a child. That was one of my favorite reading weeks because nostalgia, ja feel? I reread Sideways Stories From Wayside School, the first Time Warp Trio book, Coraline, and the first Nancy Drew book. It was so much fun.
Speaking of rereading favorites, I did a lot of rereading books this year. I reread the entire Shatter Me series to prep for the new book, and I reread the first two books in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy. I reread some Harry Potter books, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and almost every Rainbow Rowell book. Out of the 44 books I read in 2019, 17 were rereads.
I did pick up some new releases from 2019 as well. The latest book in the Shatter Me series, Defy Me, came out in March and I was lucky enough to be able to meet Tahereh Mafi in May at Yallwest. She signed my book and I thanked her for giving Kenji the character trait of loving Tangled. Because same.
Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell came out and WOW. WE STAN. Christine Riccio’s debut Again, but Better was released and it’s a book I wish I had when I was in college. I also branched out into adult romances this year and The Unhoneymooners was perfect.
I received a few ARCs this year, including XL by Scott Brown, Wilder Girls by Rory Power, and Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera. I am eternally grateful I said yes to reviewing these ARCs because all of them became some of my favorite books of the year. You can find reviews for all of them here on my blog.
I read a handful of e-books because I became a Kindle gal in January, and I listened to a couple audiobooks this year. My favorites I listened to were The Queen of Nothing and Lauren Graham’s Talking As Fast As I Can.
Actually, Talking As Fast As I Can, though released in 2016, was easily one of my top favorite books read in 2019. Like, I’m still shocked at just how much I thoroughly enjoyed it. I laughed, I cried, and I felt so comforted when she talked about Gilmore Girls (my favorite show of all time). I highly recommend the audiobook if you decide to check it out.
But above all, there was one book that stole my heart completely. Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston was hands down the best book of 2019, maybe even the decade. I cannot say enough good things about this book. If you haven’t read it, PLEASE DO SO. I literally spent 3 months purposefully stretching this book out because I was so upset about the mere thought of finishing it in a couple days. It is everything I want in a book and more. It’s so, so special and so important.
Needless to say, 2019 was an incredible reading year for me. So many new favorites entered my life, I read more diversely, and I accomplished my reading goal by October, and surpassed it in the months after.
In 2020, my small goal is 45 books–just one more than I read in 2020. My big goal is 50. Let’s see how this goes.